Call for Proposals to implement Demand-Driven Research and Development (DDRD) Activities

Introduction

The “BiomassWeb”, that is, Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value webs, is a research project designed to enhance food security in Africa. The project seeks to boost effective and efficient production, processing and trading as well as enhance the utilization of food and non-food biomass through increased system integration of associated biomass value webs. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project which is a partnership between German and African scientists is coordinated by the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in Accra, Ghana.

Rationale for DDRD activities

The BiomassWeb team has observed the need to carry out further research and development activities to reinforce the possible outcomes of on-going BiomassWeb activities. The research into biomass producing, processing and trading is taking place within the highly complex reality (diverse production systems, different socio-cultural, economic and political conditions) for the development of biomass-based value webs in the target countries – Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. The project intends to harness these complexities to create an environment that would enable the realization of the desired project impact; that is, using the knowledge gained to improve the livelihoods of the people. The DDRD activity will increase stakeholders’ participation and contribute to research and development activities of BiomassWeb in a manner that will enable the project achieve its objectives (see www.biomassweb.org). This call is to provide assistance in form of a small grant to interested BiomassWeb stakeholders to undertake such assignments.

Content of DDRD activities

The implementation of demand-driven research and development (DDRD) activities is to give BiomassWeb work package leaders, scientists and implementing partners the opportunity to carry out reasoned or pet research and development activities considered relevant to strengthening BiomassWeb outcomes. The content of the DDRD activities must be driven by need or demand from potential beneficiaries and though open, should:

  1.  Contribute to BiomassWeb objectives in terms of enhancing production, processing and trading in food and non-food biomass especially of the model crops (i.e. cassava, maize, plantain and enset and bamboo).
  2. Enrich biomass-based value webs by exploring the role of livestock / introduction of animals into the development of biomass-based value webs.
  3. Facilitate value addition to increase trade, consumption and utilisation of biomass.
  4. Contribute to systems productivity and efficiency of biomass-based value webs.

Response to call

Interested persons are requested to prepare and send a proposal for the grant award to address specific issue in any of the above areas in the BiomassWeb countries (Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria). The proposal should:

  1.  Focus on specific biomass research or development activities in the target countries. This could be through studies, preparation and production of handbooks, contributions to the BiomassNet living toolbox (see website), dissemination of results / outcomes, etc.
  2. Give a concise statement of the purpose of the research or development activity; its contribution to the attainment of the BiomassWeb objectives, and potential utilisation of the outputs and possible outcomes.
  3. Be implemented within 6 months with possible cost neutral extension of not more than 3 months.
  4. Not exceed 5 pages; stating background, relevance of topic, methodology, utilisation of results and possible outcomes, plus work plan and time schedule and budget broken down by salary / stipends (name recipients if already known), operational costs / equipment, travel costs and workshops.
  5. Include a brief description of the applicant’s institution and its affiliation to the BiomassWeb and a short CV of the applicant.
  6. Be presented in the Calibri font, 11pt, single spacing.

The value of the DDRD grant shall be an amount not exceeding twenty-five thousand Euros (€25,000).

Who can apply?

  1. All BiomassWeb partners and stakeholders in the target countries.
  2. Priority will be given to African partners of BiomassWeb.
  3. Selection procedure
  4. Proposals will be initially assessed by FARA / ZEF officials for compliance to the requirements of this call.
  5. Further assessment will be made by a team of evaluators using set criteria amongst which will be the relevance of the proposed DDRD activities to the overall BiomassWeb objectives; efficiency in the proposed budget utilisation; etc.
  6. All proposals received will be acknowledged. However, only the authors of selected proposals will be contacted. Authors of selected proposal may be requested to modify their proposal should the need arises.
  7. The implementation of the DDRD activity is expected to commence in October, 2015.

Monitoring and evaluation of DDRD activities

  1. The DDRD activities would be regularly monitored by the project coordinators based in FARA and ZEF.
  2. Funds will be released for the DDRD activities in accordance with the relevant rules guiding the disbursement of BiomassWeb funds.
  3. Fund disbursement will be based on letter of grant agreement signed between FARA and the beneficiary. The agreed DDRD activity work plan will be annexed to the letter of agreement and shall be the basis for disbursement of funds following compliance with reporting requirements.

The final DDRD activity report

  1. The final report shall be delivered to FARA within 4 weeks after the end of the DDRD activity.
  2. The report should contain: justification of aims or objectives, methods, outputs/results and possible outcomes.
  3. The final report shall be given in 10 to 15 pages plus annexes.
    Submission of proposals

The proposal should be submitted electronically by email in one pdf file ONLY to The Executive Director, Attention: Regional Coordinator, BiomassWeb; Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), 12 Anmeda Street, Roman Ridge, PMB CT 173, Accra Ghana at ofatunbi@faraafrica.org.  The deadline for submission of proposal is 31th July, 2015 at 16.30 GMT.

Download Call for Proposals – DDRD